For Saturday we had a great deal on enthusiasm we had found a weather prediction that had promised it would stay dry, it lied. However in all fairness we were day trippers so it did not dampen our experience significantly, but our thoughts were with the campers who had to endure the downpour on Saturday night.
So day two saw us back at The Banshee stage, where we had finished the night before, to see Townhouse. An impressive acoustic set ,it was fortunate that a spare five minutes gave the opportunity hear the gorgeous “Here comes the Vampires” dedicated to Lisa Rigby’s (lead singer) ex boss, an extremely gentle tune hiding a vicious tribute.
The Frues were on next, starting with new tune “Wickerman” and leading to one of the biggest crowds in the tent that we had seen. The vibe was infectious leading to (and we promise you the truth) security involvement due to over enthusiastic dancing by some of the crowd. It would be fair to say that The Frues well and truly nailed it, the right band at the right time.
We should have not been disappointed that Snafu tent was not opened (despite the tunes coming out of the tent and the worsening weather) as Bombskare were having there own rain dance. “Scotland’s Ska Juggernaut” were able to lift spirits with their tunes. Indeed we are almost convinced that people were coming to the stage despite the weather. A great defining festival moment watching the audience dance themselves silly, perfectly lead by Andy P.
The quick break saw us return to the wood burning pizza stall, visiting so frequently that we were convinced that we might get a freebie from “the pizza ladies”, unfortunately the only thing that we might have got free was a restraining order. Great pizzas and super strong coffee though.
The Brothers Reid intrigued us into attending, in fairness due to the fact that they are not the most successful siblings named Reid who have folk and country tendencies. We were half expecting a Proclaimers tribute, but what we got was more energy than Craig and Charlie have displayed in a good while. Heavy country influence made us feel like we were part of a hoedown, complete with mouth organs and yehaas. Special note has to go Michael ‘Fish’ Reid whose charming on stage persona added an extra dynamic to the set.
Another visit to the main stage saw us making full use of the previously mentioned covered stand to experience, Channel 4’s Orange Unsigned winner, Tommy Reilly. Stand out of his set was “Make the Bed”, previously a duet with Rachel Sermanni.
This was quickly followed on by the Adrian Edmondson and the Bad Shepherds, acoustic folk versions of punk classics, it created an odd feel that the audience, who seemed desperate to have a sing-along, struggled to appreciate. The result was a bland mix and we struggle to believe that they would be as popular had it not been for the famous frontman.
We were drawn back to the Banshee once more like a reliable friend we knew that the quality of acts in the tent had been consistently high. We had not expected the high energy, full on attack that was Aberdeen band, The Lorelei. It seemed like one of these occasions where there was a reciprocal sharing of energy, as the crowd were whipped into a frenzy.They thanked the crowd from “the bottom of their big sweaty bohemian hearts”, quite simply the highlights of our Festival.
It seemed a bit strange that the similar Stanley Odd and The Twang were timed to play at the same time, and it was obvious that the lesser known Stanley Odd would loose out. However it was Stanley Odd that provided the more intriguing and interesting act by far with their social commentary in their hip hop style with good dabs of poppy tunes. The Twang however appeared to have lost the edge that they once held.
Headliners of the festival Cast, and they had without doubt the biggest draw of the weekend. Starting with “Fine Time” and playing a hit laden opening, the crowd lapped up the tunes. A strong ending to the festival, which will stay with us for some time indeed.
Just a wee niggle, we found Jim Gellatly’s self advertisement more than wearisome, constantly introducing acts then promoting his radio show, which felt unnecessary and excessive.
In summary the area has a festival that really does warrant both support and attention, it concentrates in bringing the best music that it can within the limitations offered and does so with a gusto. It has retained a local feel without selling out and creating a family friendly culture which is to be commended.